Terry Duffelen
Sun 10 January 2010

Midweek TV Preview: 11 - 14 January 2010

Monday 11th January

13:30 Malawi v Algeria, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
Despite the bloody intervention by The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda there is still a football tournament to be played. Few people are better equipped to move on after tragedy than the war torn populous of Angola. So while the recriminations and hand wringing is left to the politicians, it's down to the players to get get on with the football.

16:00 Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
The clock is ticking for Cote D'Ivoire's golden generation. Despite all their talent they remain potless and the longer they leave it, the older they get. Incentive enough then for Drogba and co. to make short work of Burkina Faso and start planning for their next game against the mighty Ghana.

18:15 Ghana v Togo, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
The latest reports suggest that the Togolese squad intend to return home in accordance with the wishes of their government. It's possible that the situation may yet change but unfortunately, this fixture remains in doubt.

19:30 Manchester City v Blackburn Rovers, Barclay's Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Presumably the swanky new City Of Manchester Stadium has the facilities to cope with Blighty's Scandanavian winter. The question is whether the surrounding infrastructure can cope with all the footfalls on the way to the ground. At least the Rovers fans don't have that far to travel if the game gets called off at the last minute.

19:45 Cliftonville v Glentoran, Irish League, Sky Sports 1
Not sure if the weather will be any better in Belfast for this city derby. Cliftonville are on a great run and only two points behind the visitors.

Tuesday 12th January

15:45 Egypt v Nigeria, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD

The Egyptians are many people's picks to win the Cup for the third time in a row. The champions are not going to the World Cup and would see this as an opportunity to redress the balance. Nigeria are off to SA although no one is quite sure how. Expect the Egyptians to vent some serious frustration on the west Africans.

18:15 Mozambique v Benin, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD

The Benin squad is made up of a sizable chunk of Nigerian ringers and are hoping that their extra height will cause a few surprises in Group C. Meanwhile, Mozambique are back in the tournament for the first time in ten years.

19:45 Coventry City v Portsmouth, FA Cup Third Round Replay, ITV4
Some might say that Coventry were favorites to win this match against the African-shorn Pompey. However the Sky Blues are still pretty ordinary so it would be wise to put your money on a shoot-out after extra time. Better still, keep your cash in your pocket.

20:00 AS Roma v Triestina, Coppa Italia, ESPN
Serie B struggler Triestina travel to the Eternal City in the hope of working some cup magic. Not sure the Coppa Itailia really works like that though.

Wednesday 13th January

15:00 AC Milan v Novara, Coppa Italia, ESPN
Novara are top of Lega Pro 1 which is Italy's third division and make the relatively short trip to Milano to take on what will presumably be a Milan team made up of second string players and first teamers who have pissed off Leonardo for whatever reason.

15:45 Cameroon v Gabon, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport / British Eurosport HD

Group D gets underway with a Cameroon side revitalised under Pasul Le Guen. Gabon were pipped to a World Cup place by their opponents and will be looking fpor some payback. In addition, the Gabonese are co-hosts of the tournament in 2012 and will be eager to make an impact.

17:30 Genoa v Catania, Coppa Italia, ESPN
An all-Serie A clash which could be a feistier affair. Genoa will surely fancy their chances of winning some silverware.

18:15 Zambia v Tunisia, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
Perennial group stage fodder meet bad travellers. Tunisia's record outside North Africa is not great but even that should not stop them from feeling confident about a Zambian team who have made an art of not making it to the quarter-finals.

19:45 Juventus v Napoli, Coppa Italia, ESPN
If this were a league fixture I'd be all over this one. But it's a cup match and both teams have bigger fish to fry. Besides, there are more interesting games on tonight in Benguela and on Merseyside...

19:45 Liverpool v Reading, FA Cup, ITV1
...where you sense that the slightest hiccup could send Liverpool into a downward spiral. Fortunately for them, Reading are pretty awful and will need to draw on hitherto unknown resources to pull off a shock. That is not to say that it won't happen but if it did, Royals season ticket holders would have every right to ask why they can't play like that a little more often.

21:00 Sevilla v Barcelona, Copa Del Rey - Round 5, Sky Sports 2
Two great teams clash in the Spanish Cup. May make for an interesting postscript to the evening's fare.

Thursday 14th January

15:45 Mali v Algeria, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
It has been suggested that the Algerians are fixated on the England World Cup game and will be only half interested in the Africa Cup Of Nations. If true, they could be easy pickings for the competition's dark horses.

18:15 Angola v Malawi, Africa Cup of Nations, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
The Black Antelopes may have the home advantage but will have all the pressure to boot. Malawi are only occasional visitors to this competition so a home win, albeit a nervous one, is on the cards.

20:00 Blackburn v Aston Villa, Carling Cup, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The first leg of the "other" semi-final gets underway on a Thursday for the benefit of the TV schedulers. A lot at stake here with entertainment guaranteed over the course of the two legs.

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